Lunch: Roasted Grapes with Thyme, Fresh Ricotta & Grilled Bread

Roasted Grapes with Fresh Ricotta on Grilled Bread

Oh, hello there. Sorry to do this again while you’re all busy working, but I feel compelled to share another lunch with you: roasted grapes with thyme over grilled bread and fresh ricotta…yum. I promise to only do this when I really mean it. This recipe comes from this month’s Real Simple magazine, and fittingly, it couldn’t be more simple or delicious.

I first made this over the weekend as a side dish, omitting the bread, just spooning the warm, thyme-infused grapes over a dollop of homemade ricotta. It was delectable. Why omit the bread, you ask? Well, because the main dish was pear and bacon panini, and serving grilled bread aside panini seemed like overkill. BTW, the pear and bacon sandwiches (another September RS recipe) were fabulous — hoping to report back on those soon.

What I love about this recipe is its versatility. It’s delicious with or without bread. It could be served with any number of cheeses. It could be served at a casual lunch as an open-faced sandwich or at a fancy dinner party as a beautiful hors d’oeuvres.

And what I can’t stop dreaming about doing is this: making an all-white pizza (perhaps with homemade ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, and mozzarella) and, as soon as the pie emerges from the oven, topping it with these just-bursting, sweet-salty grapes. I’ll let you know when that day arrives.

Roasted Grapes with Thmye, Fresh Ricotta & Grilled Bread
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine September 2011 (Sorry, can’t find a direct link.)
Yield = However much you would like

Note: I actually don’t even have the recipe in front of me! My aunt ran off to Alexandria with it, and I am writing this from memory. The recipe is not complicated at all, but if you want the real deal, pick up the September 2011 Real Simple.

grapes
olive oil
kosher salt
fresh thyme sprigs

good rustic bread, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
olive oil

fresh ricotta, preferably homemade (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Spread grapes onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Lay thyme leaves over top. Toss all together gently with your hands. Place pan in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until grapes just begin to burst. I prefer the shorter roasting time — it’s nice when some of the grapes remain in tact.

2. Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Brush the bread with olive oil. Grill until nice and toasty.

3. Assemble the open-faced sandwiches: Spread fresh ricotta over bread. Top with roasted grapes. Discard thyme sprigs. (While the thyme sprigs look pretty, it’s a little impractical to serve the sandwiches with the sprigs…they don’t taste so yummy.)

Homemade Ricotta
Source: The Barefoot Contessa via Goop
Serves: Makes about 2 cups

4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar

1. Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen (I don’t dampen — I just line my sieve with cheesecloth) 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

2. Pour the milk and cream into a stainless steel or enameled pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

3. Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. (I tend to like mine on the thicker side but some prefer it moister.) Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. Note: You can use the whey to make bread and other things — don’t chuck it.

Roasted Grapes aside Fresh Ricotta and Grilled Bread

Grapes tossed with thyme, olive oil and salt:
Grapes tossed with Thyme, Salt and Olive Oil

Grapes just removed from the oven:
Roasted Grapes with Thyme, Salt and Olive Oil

Comments

  1. says

    Your photos are lovely; the roasted grapes are enticing! Your recipe would also make a lovely dinner, perhaps served with a simple salad. What a delightful way to usher in fall!

  2. says

    holy cow these were good. I am officially stalking your blog now. We made them with baked ricotta and feta–a riff on a restaurant dish I had last weekend. Sophie said it was a Greek dinner with the grapes/herbs and my toga-like sundress. Thanks for another great idea.

  3. says

    Wow! You just made this pregnant mama lick her computer screen. I cannot wait to taste the real thing – the kids and I are making this for lunch tomorrow! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Bobbi says

    Just made these for dinner. AMAZING! Thanks for sharing, and i am also now stalking your blog, and pinteresting everything!

  5. says

    I made this for lunch today and it was really good. I love all the flavours on their own but together they are truly something very special! Thanks for the recipe :)

  6. says

    Hi there! :) I pinned this on Pinterest a while back (re-pinned, actually) and finally remembered to pick everything up at the grocery store. I made these tonight for supper, and to share on my blog and I definitely think that you have the right idea. Stick to lunch with this, or cut into smaller pieces to serve as an appetizer. I think this would make an amazing appetizer, very appealing to the eye. The reason I say stick to lunch, is it seems pretty basic for supper and I knew that going in but didn’t know it was going to be rich. I probably should have known better. :) Also, this was incredibly filling! I used store-bought ricotta and basic italian bread and it was still really great. I wanted to thank you for the recipe, and the great photos. I haven’t written my blog post yet, but you’re welcome to check it out. I will have it up sometime tomorrow. Thanks again!

    • says

      Thanks for writing in with your thoughts, Bobbie. Yes, I totally agree, this would be a bit much for a main course! It’s perfect for an appetizer. I will definitely check in on your blog. Those waffles look to die for!

  7. Lauren says

    Yummy!!! I used goat cheese – I somehow ended up with a ton of it after a recent dinner party. I also drizzled a little balsamic on top. It. was. so. good. So good. Thanks for posting!

  8. says

    A perfect snack! But never omit the glorious bread. I like the idea of a few drops of balsamic too. I will make this for my daughter. Thank you for the inspiration. xoxo Tia

  9. says

    I’ve seen this all over the Pinterest and HAD to make it. Since it’s a zillion degrees outside, I made it on top of the stove and made a few changes. SOOO good. Can’t wait to share it on my blog.

  10. Rachel says

    Holy moley this stuff’s good! The grapes are amazing unto themselves. I had to stop myself from going back and licking the pan in which I roasted them!

  11. HollyAshtin says

    Just made the white pizza with a lovely garlic onion butter sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and roasted grapes to top it off! It was delicious… and of course we finished it with a nice white wine. I love your blog!

  12. HollyAshtin says

    It was very simpe. I made a garlic onion puree, put it on the stove with a little butter and milk. Then I just added some flour to thicken it and some spices. Yes, thank you for the grapes recipe!

  13. L Fraser says

    Okay, I was hungry before I saw this photo and now I’m STARVING….for this…..tonite….right now….Jeff is in the kitchen making pasta, his specialty and I’m planning the ‘special’ food I’m going to make next week when we are on vacation and still working on the kitchen remodel…I found the perfect photograph in a magazine tonite that is going to be the inspiration….your blog makes me want to quit my job and cook all day…..lol…..he told me the other day I should start a blog and I said “I’m too busy loving Alex’s blog to start anything except the next recipe”….you are a food lover’s heaven online….thank you duckie for the next amazing meal at my house!

    • says

      Laurie — You are too funny. I love you. And your house sounds like a total dream, from the kitchen remodel to the garden to your husband in the kitchen making pasta! Seriously, that doesn’t happen in too many kitchens these days. I so hope you get around to making these roasted grapes — they are SO delicious and couldn’t be easier to prepare. And if you get around to making the homemade ricotta, you might just die. It is such a wonderful combination. If you have a good source for fresh ricotta, then definitely go ahead and buy it, but the homemade stuff is a real treat!

  14. L Fraser says

    Alexandra, Oh, I am so going to make the ricotta, I can only imagine the true satisfaction I will feel when we are scarfing it down….any time I can put something on the table that I’ve made or grown it tastes so much better….my husband asked me one time why I’m so into food and I said that I feel like I am feeding the soul, not just the stomach….food is a universal understanding/need that we all have, no matter where we’re from or what we believe…we can all be connected by it in ways that really defy words…Okay, enough of all my going on! The next thing I need to do is grow the grapes and make the bread and then it’ll all be “la vida local”! Love, Lfras :)

    P.S. I’ll send you some pics of the kitchen and garden while they are progressing!

  15. says

    I never roasted grapes before but this dish looks amazing. I think, as I am not a huge ricotta lover I would prefer a more intense cheese like gorgonzola or St. Agur. But anyway, your pics are mouthwatering and the recipe very special and delish!

    • says

      Emil — I had never roasted grapes before making this recipe either. They are delicious! Love the idea of gorgonzola, and while St. Agur sounds familiar, I can’t think of its taste off the top of my head. I imagine it is delish!

  16. Kaylee says

    I made these last night and thought it was kind of blah. If I make this again I would sprinkle some cayenne pepper over the grapes before roasting them to give it the kick it needs

    • says

      Kaylee — sorry to hear this. I wonder why they were so blah. Just out of curiosity, were your grapes fresh? I’ve made this with grapes that were kind of on the outs, and they didn’t taste as good as when they were firm and fresh. And did you salt them enough? I think cayenne sounds like a nice touch, but I’m just sorry to hear these didn’t work out for you.

  17. says

    Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    • says

      Visit — not sure if this is spam, but I actually do use WordPress. If you can email me back and confirm that this isn’t a spam message, I will give you some tips on preventing hackers.

  18. Sunie says

    I’m trying this recipe tomorrow and am looking forward to it. I thought it would be great to print it out and found your CleanPrint tool icon under the recipe. What a great tool! You can edit out anything you don’t want, change the font size, etc, so that it fits on just one page. Thanks so much!

  19. Natasha says

    This is a great recipe. However, the grapes I had today were less than sweet. When they came out of the oven, they were a little bland. I emptied them into a saucepan and poured a splash of port on them and let the liquid reduce until it coated the grapes. Delish!

    • says

      wow, nice work! so many other people would have just tossed them out (and then sent me hate mail :)…thank you for not doing that.) A port reduction sounds absolutely divine. I might have to try that next time regardless. So glad you were able to salvage the roasted grapes. Thanks for writing in!

  20. nancybrooks says

    it’s snowing here in Maine and this looks like a perfect “let’s watch the snow fall and cover everything” food!

  21. Amanda Marie says

    This is delicious! My grapes were really sweet to start with, and the roasting made them even sweeter. I served the rest the following day in a kale salad. Will be making regularly. Love your site!

  22. Alex says

    Yes. A thousand times yes. This was the most delicious, indulgent lunch I’ve had in a while. And homemade ricotta is a revelation!

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